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Christian Horner

Horner hails 'very, very hard work' as Red Bull bounce back in style

Red Bull's Christian Horner has praised his team for responding to the disappointment of their Bahrain double retirement, after Max Verstappen won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Christian Horner has paid tribute to the members of the Red Bull team that regrouped from the disappointment of their double retirement in Bahrain to claim a first and fourth-place finish in Saudi Arabia.

Having lost out on a big haul of points at the season opener due to the pair of failures, later revealed to be an issue with the fuel system in the RB18, Red Bull didn't put a wheel wrong in Jeddah.

Sergio Perez claimed pole position and led the early stages, only for a Safety Car to scupper his efforts, before Max Verstappen emerged as the winner of a dramatic duel with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

It moves Red Bull onto 38 points, getting them off the mark for the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship, and Horner said it was a hugely positive response from his team.

"It was great to rebound after the disappointment of Bahrain," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, after the race.

"The team have worked very, very hard in the past week to understand and address, hopefully, the issues that we had.

"What a great race! It was a very strategic race for Max, not taking too much out of the tyres to make sure he had enough to attack at the end of the Grand Prix, and [we had] some great racing between him and Charles."

Horner: Verstappen victory is a reward for those at the factory

With Red Bull maintaining their competitiveness over the winter, despite a titanic title fight with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton in 2021, Horner expressed confidence in his team being able to make significant progress through the season.

"I think we've learned some good lessons," he said, when asked about the development path for the RB18.

"What I'm particularly pleased with is we probably came onto the development of this car later than our rivals.

"The whole team at Milton Keynes - [with] the effort that went into [RB]16B last year, the lateness of that championship, the compressed time for this car - they've worked incredibly hard.

"This is just the kind of result that injects a whole bunch of energy into the factory."

Horner foresees development battle with Ferrari

Given that Ferrari and Red Bull are seemingly level pegging at the start of this season, Horner said it's the aforementioned development path that could prove decisive in the title fight.

With Ferrari finishing lower than Red Bull in the 2021 championship, the Scuderia will have access to a little more wind tunnel testing time than the Milton Keynes-based squad.

But, given the newness of the regulations, Horner reckons there are still some big gains to be made.

"The first two races have been great racing between the two teams," he commented.

"I think that it's now going to be about development, about unlocking potential with these cars that are still very immature.

"We can see Ferrari are very, very quick, and it's going to be a very busy period through the rest of the spring now to try and get performance to the cars and understand how the tyres are working, and so on, over these next few races."

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F1 2022 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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